Since 1991, the Islanders record in Chicago hasn't been pretty. They've won just three times in their last 19 tries in the Windy City, via Arthur Staple of Newsday.
On Saturday night, the Islanders try their luck again at Chicago against the Blackhawks. In more recent memory, the Isles are winless since 2009 in six tries. Only twice have they escaped with a point from an overtime loss.
After starting the season hot, the Islanders have been in a funk. Since the calendar turned to December, the team is 8-13-2. The Islanders have far and away conceded the most goals in the league with 173. Only Arizona comes close, having given up 166. Third worst is the Penguins, astonishingly 26 goals better than the Islanders with 147 goals against.
Even with the hemorrhaging of goals, the Islanders offense has been so good that they remain just three points out of a wild-card spot in the East. John Tavares, Josh Bailey and Mathew Barzal are among the NHL's top 15 in points and Anders Lee is third in goals.
Despite the defensive woes, head coach Doug Weight is looking at those stars to pull the team out of their rut.
"It's the time of the year to follow your best players," Weight said, via Staple after losing 5-2 to the Bruins on Thursday. "Our top two lines, our veterans, our leaders have to lead us. What they can sometimes misconstrue what that means, maybe trying to do too much. It means playing the way we play consistently, battling, energy, short shifts. Doesn't mean you have to score three a night or extend your shifts."